- Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
- Area(s) of Law: Indian Law
- Date Filed: 08-22-2012
- Case #: 11-30099
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Nelson for the Court, Circuit Judges Tashima and Callahan
- Full Text Opinion
H.B. appeals from a district court sentence of 18 months detention, 12 months juvenile supervision, and sex offender treatment, for aiding and abetting W.B. in the aggravated sexual abuse of T.T.W. while on an Indian reservation. H.B. claims his sentence was “unreasonable” with insufficient evidence to support the adjudication. The government must prove beyond reasonable doubt: W.B. committed aggravated sexual abuse; H.B. intentionally and knowingly aided and abetted in each element of the offense, acting before the crime was completed; and at the time H.B. was a Native American, under 18 years of age, on the Black Feet Reservation; including a showing of “actual force” to distinguish aggravated from regular sex abuse. Threatened or actual use of a weapon, using physical force to “overcome, restrain, or injure a person,” or using the threat of harm to “coerce or compel submission by the victim;” satisfy the requirement of force. Viewing the evidence most favorable to the government, the Court found that a rational trier of fact could conclude that: waking up from a black out, legs physically restrained by H.B with W.B. engaging in unwanted sexual contact, and W.B.’s weight on top of and efforts to silence T.T.W., allowing “W.B. to engage in unwanted sexual contact from which T.T.W. could not escape immediately;” reveal W.B.’s use of force in the sexual acts. The medical examination bolsters this report of force. The Court determined the least restrictive placement was assigned, the order for detention was no longer than necessary for treatment and due consideration was given for the “unique concerns and needs of [Native American youth], as they are ‘disproportionately subject to federal court jurisdiction for their delinquency offenses’ on account of the structure of the FJDA.” The adjudication was supported by sufficient evidence; the sentence was reasonable and not overly punitive. AFFIRMED.